Kevin Atherley - Wheelchair Basketball Program

Kevin Atherley

In September 2012, I witnessed a car accident, and did the right thing; I pulled over to see what I could do to help. Then the unthinkable happened. Another vehicle hit me as I stood on the shoulder of the road, pinning me to my own car and causing a significant number of life-threatening injuries. As a result of the accident, I lost my left leg and have permanent limited use of my right leg. I was only 21 years old at the time. Needless to say, I was in shock. I had no energy and for a while, just didn't want to do anything.

Then Mike Henley encouraged me to give wheelchair basketball a try. I had always enjoyed the game, so I got out on the court and told myself that I wasn't going to leave until I figured out how to play, wheelchair and all. It took some time, but I did learn the rules of the game and I figured out how to handle the chair. And, I started having FUN again. I love blazing up and down the court. Playing wheelchair basketball gets me out and doing something I really enjoy, plus I have met so many new people. Some have similar disabilities and we all can relate to each other. We share stories and ideas, and we motivate each other to keep going.

Being part of the adapted sports program has made me realize how much I am still able to do. I am back in school, studying to be a paralegal with a concentration in criminal justice. I am still making a lot of adjustments as I figure out how to move and bend my prosthetic leg, but I am getting there. There really IS life after trauma. Just look at me!